How to ace your next interview
Doing well in an interview is critical, no matter how impressive your resume is. Through it you will communicate to the interviewer who you are and what you can bring to the company, whether you realize it or not. Learning the best interview tactics will enable you to send the message you intend and impress the interviewer. Below is a compilation for best practices for before, during and after an interview. Click on the tabs to view these tips and insights.
Before an interview
- Fully understand the job description or position advertisement.
- Research the company itself - mission, history, services/products.
- Research the industry as a whole.
- Participate in a mock interview - contact Career Services to learn more.
- Research potential questions and prepare answers.
- Bring a copies of your resume and references.
- Bring breath mints, tissues, and an extra tie (for men).
- Men - a two piece solid color suit (black, gray, blue, or brown) with a simple pattern tie, high calf socks with conservative and polished shoes.
- Women - a solid color suit with a knee length skirt (preferred), tailored blouse in a simple color or a two piece pant suit with basic pumps, modest jewelry and make up.
- Both men and women should have neatly groomed hair, trimmed nails, and an extra pair of clothes for extended interviews is highly encouraged.
During an interview
- Arrive early, and allow for plenty of time to find parking and walk in.
- Greet the interview with a firm hand shake, direct eye contact, and a smile. This first impression is critical, so be confident!
- First the interview will briefly describe the position, the organization and the layout for the interview itself.
- Answering interviewer questions is the heart of the interview. It will usually last 15 to 20 minutes. Remember this is your opportunity to expand on qualifications and experiences outlined in your resume. Your answers to each question should be about 1 to 2 minutes long.
- Asking the interviewer questions is a great opportunity that should never be passed up. By asking about three to five relevant questions you are expressing genuine interest in the company
- Closing an interview will take about 3 to 5 minutes
- The interviewer will probably review the next steps in the interviewing process.
- Be sure and find out the details of the next steps.
- Thank the interviewer for their time. Again give a firm hand shake, eye contact, and smile.
After an interview
- Send a thank you note to the interviewer for their time and consideration- either hand written or typed. An email will do.
- Send no later then two days following the interview.
- If there is more then one interviewer send one to each of them.
- Keep a record of the interviewers name/title/company, date, address, phone number, and any other relevant information.
- Keep notes on what was discussed in the interview for future reference.
4 P's of interviewing
Ask yourself why the interviewer asked the questions he/she did. This will help you determine the skill, trait, or ability that is being measured. Highlight this quality in your response.
Prove each of your statements with concrete examples. Think of specific stories from past experiences which prove the message you wish to convey.
Practice by writing down sample interview questions and schedule a mock interview with them. Even if the questions you prepared are not used in the interview, practicing answering this type of personal question is valuable.
Project a positive attitude even when the questions become negative. By remaining positive you will show the interviewer your character and the type of employee you will be.